the weight of the world

Sometimes I feel like the whole world is on my shoulders.

Sometimes it seems that I’m responsible for the needs of every person I face.

Sometimes I feel like the expectations of me are higher than the mountain tops.

I want to bring healing to all the sick, provision to all the poor, family to all the lonely. I want to bring freedom to all the captives, hope to all the broken, and love to all the abandoned ones. I want my friends to know I would do anything for them, my enemies to know that nothing could stop me from loving them, my family to know that I’ll always belong to them. I want my children to know nothing can change my love for them, and my husband to know I will always choose him.

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But can I be honest?

Some days I don’t feel like I can do any of that. Most days I feel full and I feel alive, but other days I feel defeated. Some days I feel like people are waiting for me to fulfill their needs, to give them all the answers, yet I feel like I can barely stand on my own two feet. Some days I come back home after a day of worship times and prayer meetings, baby barf and poo explosions, overcooked eggs and cold tea, headaches and back pain, to simply throw myself on the bed and burst into tears.

I try my best to hold it in, to try to be brave, but some days Ryan sees it on my face and as soon as he asks “what’s wrong?” the tears start flowing. Words begin to sputter out in between tears and deep breaths, “I just don’t feel like I can carry all of this. Meeting the needs of the people I serve, standing in the gap for our future students, fulfilling the responsibilities of a leader, completing the tasks assigned to me, not disappointing my leaders, being the mom Olivia needs, making time for my friendships, being a good wife, assuring my family back home of my love for them, being intentional in my walk with God, taking care of myself, keeping our home in order, resting.”

Once my eyes dry up and my breaths return to a steady rhythm, I realize that what I want to say is this:

I just want everyone to know that I’m doing my best to love them.

I’m doing my best to walk a life worthy of the call that God has placed before me.

I’m doing my best to empathize with the people who are closest to me, the ones who are furthest, and all the ones in between.

I’m doing my best to rely on my Maker, because He is strong in my weakness.

I’m doing my best to make decisions that align with His truth, that bring His Kingdom here on earth, that allow me to walk in the freedom He has given me, that invites others to come as they are, that draws people to the One true King.

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Sometimes I just want to tell the whole world what’s going on in my heart.

I want everyone to know that I can’t give them all the answers, but I know the One who can.

I want the world to know that they belong, even when I fail them.

I want them to know their ideas and their hopes and their dreams matter.

I want them to know they can change the world.

They can live a life full of freedom and hope and genuine joy, even in the pain and trials and disappointments that are bound to come their way.

That even though I am imperfect, and our world is imperfect, and our friends and families and communities are imperfect… we were made in the image of a perfect Creator who makes us whole and invites us to walk with Him no matter our past or present state of imperfection.

And I am grateful.

Because I know that I am loved, and that I have been made whole through grace.

Because I have friends who bring me flowers for no reason and invite me for breakfast after a sleepless night.

Because I have been accepted by the ones who I let down, and by the God who set the stars in the sky.

And I know that without my Maker, I am nothing but dust.

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“Let my life be for Your glory

Woven in your threads of grace

I need You

Oh how I need You”

[all sons & daughters]

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